Ones to Watch: AFLW Draft Combine – Victoria & Tasmania

VICTORIA and Tasmania’s top AFLW Draft hopes will be put to the test at the weekend’s Draft Combine. Taking place at Margaret Court Arena on Sunday, players will be put through their paces in a series of tests hosted by the AFL and facilitated by Rookie Me.

The tests include vertical jump – both standing and running – 20m sprint, AFL agility test and the 2km time trial. All tests with the exception of the time trial will be run indoors. In this article we take a look at some of the players who might impress.

Vertical jump:

Of the Draft Combine invites in the preseason, Calder Cannons’ Amy Gaylor took out the top honours in both the standing vertical jump, and running vertical jump off her predominant left side. Even on her non-dominant right side, Gaylor was one of only two players to leap past 70cm. The other was GWV Rebels’ Jess Rentsch.

Likely to feature prominently in all the tests, Dandenong Stingrays’ Mikayla Williamson ranked elite across the standing and both running, as did teammate Bianca Lyne, and Gippsland Power defender Amber Schutte.

20m sprint:

Looking back at preseason, and it was Schutte who flashed home in a time of 3.208, which is the fastest of any AFLW Draft Combine invitee. Just behind her were AFLW Academy members Laura Stone and Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner. The latter standing at 178cm makes the feat all the more impressive. Stone’s Eastern teammate Georgia Stubs was the other to clock up a blistering time.

A few others to watch include Western Jets’ Tamara Henry, Sandringham Dragons’ Isabel Bacon and Oakleigh Chargers’ Jemma Rigoni, while Gaylor, Williamson and Rentsch are also known for their explosive speed.

AFL Agility:

The agility test is where Williamson comes to shine yet again. Notching up a sub-8.5-second time which was the most of any Victorian AFLW Draft Combine invitee, she will be among the main ones to watch in the test. The one to watch is Oakleigh captain Lara Hausegger who produced a fantastic effort in the preseason to be next best.

The usual suspects in Rentsch, Gaylor, Henry, Stone and Bacon all featured prominently in the test and will be thereabouts again. From the Apple Isle, key defender/ruck Tunisha Kikoak impressed for her size and thrives from the athletic elements.

2km time trial:

The time trial provides a different endurance test to that of the pre-season yo-yo with the distance familiar to the players who will set their pace for the distance. When it came to the yo-yo test in preseason, Williamson blitzed everyone to notch up a remarkable 17.02. Talls, Emily Gough and Lyne also featured in the top few with Henry and Rentsch.

Winger Hayley McLaughlin is known for her endurance base, as is Dandenong’s Meg Robertson, while Tasmanian AFLW Academy member Georgia Clark is another good runner.

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